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I Did Not Let Go of Him.
With time, we all grow up. And then, it is just memories that remain with us to cherish what we have actually lost, and what we never can get back. Childhood memories stay imprinted in our mind forever and later on, they form good bedtime stories for our children too. We make mistakes but so long we learn from them, life goes great.
There is one such mistake which I may never be able to forget.
I had been around nine years old then. I had this cousin brother of mine who used to come over to our place quite often. My parents had a special affection for him. This made me angry sometimes, jealous mostly. I never let him play with my toys and if asked to share the room, I made him sleep on the farthest corner of the bed as possible. Never close to me. But he did not complain. He always did as I told him to. He was happy all the time and calm and this made me more and more frustrated.
One day I challenged him to stay the night in our cellar, a place which we used to consider haunted. He was really scared when he heard it and almost wet his pants but as he never refused to anything I said, he reluctantly agreed. I left him down there with a small torch, which had almost no effect in the absorbing darkness of the cellar and small bedding for him to sleep. I hurried back upstairs and lay on my bed. Finally, the bed was mine, and mine alone!
The next day I woke up and my mother told me that they could not find Aarav (my cousin). Of course they did not know. I ran down the cellar stairs and what do I see, he is standing there just the way I had left him. The torch in his hand and the bedding untouched. I came close to him and could see dried up tears going down his cheek. I tugged at him but he did not move. He was staring at something invisible on the roof. I touched his hand. It was burning. He had serious fever!
Finally he looked at me and fresh tears filled his eyes. He said,
“See, I did what you said. Now you don’t hate me, right?”
This was too much for me. I pulled him towards me and hugged him hard.
“I can never hate you! You are the best friend I ever had! I am really sorry for behaving like that!”
Even though his body temperature was very high and my skin burned, I did not let go of him…